Created By: Riddlewizard on May 19, 2011 Last Edited By: Riddlewizard on June 6, 2011

Everyone is special

Logic bomb? Or simple lie?

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Dash: But Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of, our powers made us special.
Helen: Everyone's special, Dash.
Dash: [muttering] Which is another way of saying no one is.
The Incredibles

Do We Have This One? already? I can't figure to where else to ask, or how to ask anywhere else. Will require a decent bit of Wiki Magic to get this going, so any help is appreciated

You've Heard It A Million Times in all types of media and in Real Life- some parent or other authority figure (usually a teacher or babysitter) tells a child in their care that everyone is special. Some will go a little further, by saying "everyone is special in their own way". Typically the child is told this after a bullying situation where someone called them worthless or something similar. There's a problem with this idea, and sometimes the child will spot it, other times not- which creates Fridge Logic for them later on. The problem is, "If everybody is special, then doesn't make "special" the new normal? That means nobody is special, because special and normal are opposites." Whether the child tries to figure it out -encountering a logic bomb in the process- or stops at "Everybody is special, so that means we are all normal (or equal, depending on the way it is said).

See also, Everyone Is a Super.

This is often seen in children's and inspirational movies, books and plays.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • May 19, 2011
    Damr1990
  • May 19, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Lake Wobegon, where "all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."
  • May 20, 2011
    HieronymusII
    Brian: You're all individuals!
    Crowd: Yes, we are all individuals.
    '"Man at the back''': I'm not.

  • May 20, 2011
    Arivne
    @Riddlewizard: "I can't figure to where else to ask, or how to ask anywhere else."

    The best place to find out if we already have something as a trope is on Lost And Found.
  • May 20, 2011
    Riddlewizard
    @ Arivne Thanks.
  • May 20, 2011
    Riddlewizard
    Anyone have more examples?
  • May 20, 2011
    Clevomon
    Honestly, it's not that much of a Logic Bomb if you add the ending in, since it is very possible for different people to specialize in different things. Through that, in different ways, it is still possible for everyone to be "special," at least theoretically.
  • May 20, 2011
    Ekuran
  • May 20, 2011
    Damr1990
    Dash: But Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of, our powers made us special.
    Helen: Everyone's special, Dash.
    Dash: [muttering] Which is another way of saying no one is.
    The incredibles

    "Oh, I'm real. Real enough to defeat you! And I did it without your precious gifts, your oh-so-special powers. I'll give them heroics. I'll give them the most spectacular heroics the world has ever seen! And when I'm old and I've had my fun, I'll sell my inventions so that *everyone* can have powers. *Everyone* can be super! And when everyone's super... [chuckles evilly] No one will be.
    -- Syndrome, The Incredibles
  • May 20, 2011
    Riddlewizard
    @ Clevomon If the character tries to figure it out, it becomes a Logic Bomb, because "If everybody is special, then doesn't make "special" the new normal?" and that it repeats infinity if the character tries to figure it out. Also, it's not really an ending if they stop at- "if everyone is special, special is the new normal"- because the character will just stop trying to figure it out when they realize that doing so will be confusing. Usually ends in "I give up, my head hurts".
  • June 5, 2011
    Riddlewizard
    I'll update this as I get examples, I just need more, please.

  • June 5, 2011
    Deboss
    You really need to change the Laconic. It's not a subtitle, it's supposed to be the short'n'sweet definition of the trope.
  • June 5, 2011
    Fanra
    The problem is, "If everybody is special, then doesn't make "special" the new normal? That means nobody is special, because special and normal are opposites." Whether the child tries to figure it out -encountering a logic bomb in the process- or stops at "Everybody is special, so that means we are all normal (or equal, depending on the way it is said).

    It's only a Logic Bomb if you define "special" as "different". Or extraordinary. If you define it as "pertaining or peculiar to a particular person, thing, instance, etc.; distinctive; unique", which is one of the definitions, then it works.

    "Bob might be an ordinary guy, but to his mother he is special."
  • June 6, 2011
    Hadashi
    Generally means you are all Special Little Snowflakes.

    Now there is a metaphor you shouldn't examine too closely....
  • June 6, 2011
    BraveHoratio
    There's a song in The Gondoliers by Gilbert & Sullivan that amounts to "when everyone is special, no one is".
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